Discussion:
The Inside Story of Texas Instruments' Biggest Blunder: The TMS9900 Microprocessor
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Rich
2017-06-24 16:18:33 UTC
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http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/history/the-inside-story-of-texas-instruments-biggest-blunder-the-tms9900-microprocessor

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If you use a laptop or desktop computer, chances are it has a
microprocessor from the Intel 808x line, regardless of whether it's a
Windows machine or a Mac. The utter dominance of these Intel
microprocessors goes back to 1978, when IBM chose the 8088 for its first
personal computer. Yet that choice was far from obvious. Indeed, some
who know the history assert that the Intel 8088 was the worst among
several possible 16-bit microprocessors of the day.

It was not. There was a serious alternative that was worse. I know
because I was in charge of the organization within Texas Instruments
that developed it: the TMS9900. Although this dog of a chip went on to
be used in the world's first 16-bit home computer, you've probably never
heard of it. As they say, history is written by the winners.

This particular chapter of history is interesting not just for TI's chip
but also for another also-ran, the Motorola 68000, which was
technologically superior to both the Intel 8088 and the TMS9900. And yet
the 68000 did not end up in the IBM PC. Here is the inside story of how
IBM came to pick an inferior chip, TI birthed a loser, and Motorola's
seeming winner lost, too.

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Huge
2017-06-24 17:46:48 UTC
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Post by Rich
http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/history/the-inside-story-of-texas-instruments-biggest-blunder-the-tms9900-microprocessor
If you use a laptop or desktop computer, chances are it has a
microprocessor from the Intel 808x line, regardless of whether it's a
Windows machine or a Mac. The utter dominance of these Intel
microprocessors goes back to 1978, when IBM chose the 8088 for its first
personal computer. Yet that choice was far from obvious. Indeed, some
who know the history assert that the Intel 8088 was the worst among
several possible 16-bit microprocessors of the day.
It was not. There was a serious alternative that was worse.
At least we didn't end up with *that*.
--
Today is Setting Orange, the 29th day of Confusion in the YOLD 3183
I don't have an attitude problem.
If you have a problem with my attitude, that's your problem.
root
2017-06-24 18:48:12 UTC
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Post by Rich
http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/history/the-inside-story-of-texas-instruments-biggest-blunder-the-tms9900-microprocessor
Very interesting article. Sometime before the IBM-PC came out I was selling
development software for a number of microprocessors, including the TMS9900.
Later when the TMS320 came out I supported that family as well. I was contacted
by TI who offered to ship me all their development software for the 9900 if
I would maintain it and continue to support the chip. I declined because my
TMS9900 software hadn't ever sold well but the TMS320 stuff was gangbusters.
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